Goldman Mill citizenship is more than a status with which one is born. It is a daily challenge, a call to action, a mission in life, a joy. Millers are part of the collective that makes the Microstate of Peace survive and thrive every day. They are OWNERS of this construct, and with that status comes benefits and responsibilities.
BASIC MINIMUM INCOME
Every citizen of Goldman Mill, starting at age 18, receives a basic minimum income of $1,000 per month that is not assessed for income tax. (From birth to age 18, each child receives $500 per month that is paid to and managed by his/her parents or guardians, who may opt to put the funds into an escrow account that accumulates until the child reaches age 18.)
The BMI is part of a citizen benefit package that includes the monthly stipend, health care, free education and child care, access to the town shuttle, education, food coop membership, water/power (it runs on a state-operated solar and wind-powered electrical grid; citizens must pay for amounts used over standard allotment)/sewer, Gardai, internet, tv/radio/satellite service, telephone, basic housing (larger/more elaborate properties levy a surcharge), employment placement service, arts society membership, and more.
For more information on BMI, visit http://basicincome.org/.
Citizens between 18 and 70 not employed by the state are expected to devote a minimum of ten hours per week to citizen service, which is reported monthly to the state. This can cover anything from volunteering as a daycare or Romero Clinic aide, tending community gardens, performing a function for a state-owned business, reading to kids at the library, sweeping streets, giving tours, stocking shelves at the food co-op, etc. Of course, state employees, kids, and older seniors may take part as well, and most do. In fact, a great many Millers devote more than 10 hours per week. Our citizens take their membership in the collective seriously.
If the tax rates appear to be high, read the section on Basic Minimum Income and, in particular, the part that covers the citizens’ benefit package. In fact, the Goldman Mill tax rate is lower than that in Denmark. Bottom line: This is a collective. We are all in this together, and taxes allow each of us to contribute to making Goldman Mill a great place to live for us all.
Individual taxes are levied as follows:
BMI is untaxed.
Earned income over BMI is taxed at a rate of 60% for amounts up to $350,000 and 65% for all income above that figure. (Exception: For those over 70, the first $1,000 per month of earned or investment income is not taxed.)
Income taxes are withheld from each paycheck and a return is filed with the state annually.
Capital gains income is taxed at 60% for amounts up to $350,000 and 65% for all investment income above that figure.
Unearned income (i.e. inheritance income) is tax-free up to $350,000. Over that figure, inheritance income is taxed progressively.
|$ in inheritance over $300,000||Marginal tax rate|
|$400,001 and above||65%|
|$260,001 – $400,000||60%|
|$160,001 – $260,000||55%|
|$90,001 – $160,000||40%|
|$50,001 – $90,000||25%|
|$40,000 – $50,000||0%|
|$30,000 – $40,000||0%|
There is a 10% sales tax on all consumer goods and service transactions at commercial enterprises. (Exceptions are uncooked food/grocery, medical, school uniform, educational supply, and funeral purchases.) Businesses must pay sales tax on their purchases, but not for items specified for resale.
There is an additional 10% tax on alcoholic beverages, smoking tobacco of all types and related supplies, sugared soft drinks, “junk food” items, “big-ticket” goods (over $2,000), fuels, and hospitality expenses (hotel and restaurant). Businesses collect these taxes and remit them to the state monthly.
Non-citizen residents: Goldman Mill has a growing number of non-citizen residents — people who are here to pursue studies at Mill Friends Academy or Pax University, people from abroad here to work for/with a Miller company, long-term vacationers, retirees, or people with green-card status in hopes of gaining citizenship. All prospective residents must apply to and be approved by the Citizenship – Immigration – Refugees Ministry.
Non-citizen residents do not receive BMI. Non-citizen students pay tuition to cover academy or university courses, fees, and health care. They must purchase transport passes (but unlike tourists, they get a discount). They must pay fees for food coop membership, for health coverage (if not a student – emergency health care is free for all), for housing/water/electric/sewer, for child care, and for civic attractions. Naturally, they must pay sales taxes. They are taxed 20% on any income earned in Goldman Mill.
Hardship Cases/Asylum Seekers/Refugees: Naturally, our country exists to show compassion to and to be a refuge for those in need. Presently 150 refugees from war-torn parts of the world are here in The Mill, and more surely will come. People who wish to settle in our country but have financial difficulties and/or hardship situations are welcome to work with the Compassion and Outreach Minister to determine whether Goldman Mill can be of assistance and what forms that assistance can take.
BUSINESS IN GOLDMAN MILL
Goldman Mill is a democratic-socialist collective microstate. Much of the means of production in the nation is owned and operated by the state, but our economic system is a blend of socialism and capitalism. As such, the government encourages entrepreneurship. Many of our citizens start businesses in partnership with the state, and some own enterprises outright.
In O&O businesses, all profits earned go to the state, which hires a manager and staff paid to operate the concern.
In partner businesses, which make up most of the commercial endeavors in Goldman Mill, the state and the partner-owner split any profits amassed after overhead and agreed-upon reinvestment costs are paid. The partner-owner is taxed on his or her earnings. Some partner businesses evolve into citizen proprietor enterprises; the partner-owner pays the state an agreed-upon amount to the state, either in a lump sum or in installments, for the right to take full ownership. Once that amount is paid in full, the citizen takes over full control of the business.
Citizen proprietorships keep all profits earned and pay business taxes on profits at a rate of 60% for amounts up to $350,000 and 65% for all income above that figure. If a business does not turn a profit or is a state-approved nonprofit enterprise, the proprietor pays taxes on salary he or she has collected at the regular income tax rate.
All businesses collect and remit to the state sales taxes and other taxes as specified above in the Taxes section.
Business taxes are collected quarterly and a return is filed with the state annually.
All businesses must participate in the Goldman Mill Chamber of Commerce. The organization exists to maintain a business community that upholds and promotes Miller values and works together for the betterment of the Collective.
Anyone wishing to start a new citizen proprietorship or partner business must pitch the idea to and obtain preliminary approval from the State Council. The idea then goes through a stringent process before it can win final approval from the Business Minister. The number and types of businesses permitted are closely controlled for the benefit of the collective.
Openings for positions at existing businesses of all types are listed at the Employment and Labor Ministry’s Miller Temps agency, which takes applications and sets up interviews.
Age of majority in The Mill is 21, however, at age 18, young citizens get the full BMI – and an opportunity: At age 18, citizens are encouraged to take a year after high school graduation for the Miller version of Rumspringa – a gap year where they travel to see the outer world and decide whether life in Goldman Mill is truly what they want. Upon completion of the gap year (or sooner, if they desire), they take the initial loyalty oath, and at age 21, they take the final oath.
Note: Adult citizens are free to come and go as they please, as long as they have a passport, and those who wish to renounce citizenship and relinquish their passport are free to do so. If they go on to have a change of heart, they must be aware that the repatriation process is long and involved.
The voting age is 18; voting is mandatory. (Starting at age 14, Millers are expected to vote each year for the youth State Council representative. This is done to give them a voice in their country’s government and to get them into the habit of voting.)
THE MILL IS ABOUT GREEN LIVING
A major part of building peace, according to Miller values, is protecting our Earth. As such, those living in Goldman Mill must make a commitment to sustainable living practices and for the common good, that commitment is enforced by the Collective. The state has ordinances covering the following:
- All commercial and residential buildings must earn platinum certification as green and sustainable by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and must be certified by the Living Building Challenge before they may be inhabited. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient structures that use less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money. LBC certification shows a building meets the highest standards of sustainability in seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. All buildings are audited by LEED and LBC regularly.
- Only “green” and organic fabrics may be created, imported, bought, sold, or worn in Goldman Mill. Acceptable fabrics are those on this list (the only leather allowed is vegan leather, and only that which uses Birko-Flor and Birkibuc). Fur is not permitted. Manufacturers and merchants that create or use fabric must provide proof of product content to the state annually.
- Public transportation, bicycles, and walking are the primary modes of transport in Goldman Mill. Motor-powered land vehicles (except scooters) are for state use only, and they must be battery-electric powered or hybrids that use electricity and cellulosic ethanol fuels.
- Citizens may have state-registered personal watercraft, but boats must be powered by rowing, wind and sail, or electricity. (State jitneys are hybrids that use electric motors with backup diesel generators.)
- Grilling must be done with electric or propane grills or all-natural lump charcoal.
- The only fireplaces permitted are those that use bio-ethanol fuel, gas logs, or fire logs.
- Cook-top ranges and stoves must be electric, however, wood-burning and pellet stoves and ovens are allowed, provided that they are equipped with air filters designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter that increases air pollution.
- The state has a mandatory recycling and composting program for citizens and residents.
- Food shopping is done through the Goldman Mill Food Co-op, which provides locally grown, organic, eco-friendly offerings.
- Citizens and residents are encouraged to participate in The Mill’s Community Garden and Greening programs (most do). Our parks, gardens, and farms are supervised by the state and use no pesticides or chemicals potentially dangerous to the environment. Regular state inspections ensure that gardens and farms present minimal hazard to the ecosystem.
- Animals raised for meat are treated humanely and killed using Kosher standards. (Pork products are handled by non-rabbis, but using rabbinical techniques.)
- A Citizens’ Sustainability Committee is in place to research new ways to improve “green” living and to work with the State Council on ordinances to put new standards in place throughout The Mill. Our goal is to strive for maximum sustainability and to be “the greenest country in the world.”
Alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis consumption is restricted to those 21+ and to specific locations as noted in state ordinance.
Other substances — designer drugs, cocaine, heroin, etc. — are not permitted within Goldman Mill. Anyone found using these items will be treated through the health system. Dealers and distributors, however, will be prosecuted: If someone is found bringing these items into the country, his or her entry will be barred and the contraband, which remains illegal in both the US and Canada, will be confiscated and destroyed. If someone within state limits is found distributing them to anyone of any age or by any means — or if someone is found providing alcohol, cannabis, or cigarettes to an underage person — the contraband will be confiscated and destroyed, and the offender will be detained and tried with a possibility of deportation.
FORBIDDEN IN GOLDMAN MILL
NO WEAPONS ARE ALLOWED. EVER. Residents may own guns, etc. for recreational use, but they must be stored in the Goldman Mill Security Center for use outside the Microstate of Peace. Anyone found with a weapon within state limits will be detained and tried with a possibility of deportation.
Violence of any kind is simply not tolerated in the Microstate of Peace. Citizens who live here choose to be here because they share our values and our mission of living and promoting nonviolence. Anyone found to be in violation will be detained and tried with a possibility of deportation.
Similarly, hate speech, intolerance, promotion of violence, and bigotry of any kind is not tolerated. If you harbor those sorts of thoughts, Goldman Mill clearly is not the place for you. Anyone found to be in violation will be detained and tried with a possibility of deportation.